Easter Island Shopping Tips by TheWanderingCamel Top 5 Page for this destination
Easter Island Shopping: 16 reviews and 18 photos
You'll have more than enough opportunities to buy yourself a souvenir of Easter Island before you leave. You'll find stalls set up at Orongo and Anakena, and possibly at other sites too, depending on when you are there ... the further into the "season" the more souvenir sellers there are. There's a small shop at the museum, selling high quality, and fairly expensive, pieces including some attractive silver jewelley with rongorongo and birdman motifs , and the main streets in the town have plenty of shops selling a wide range of handicrafts, books, T-shirts .... all the usual stuff.
Individual shops and stalls like these aside, there are also two markets - the Feria Municipal in the centre of town, and the Mercado Artisanal near the church. Both are packed with the wooden carvings the island is particularly noted for, and stone moai of every size, as well as a huge range of other handicrafts... the depth of your wallet and the spare room in your luggage will dictate what you choose.
What to buy: Whilst we all like a bargain, remember that the better quality work (and some of it is very fine indeed, beautifully finished, sometimes with inlays of obsidian or bone and lovely detailing) has probably taken hour and hours, if not weeks, of meticulous work to complete and should be considered a workof art, not merely a souvenir.
Not all the material you see used is local to the island. Whilst the pumice stone is from the island, as you would expect, a lot of the wood is imported and some of it - mako'i particularly - is very expensive. Silver, copper and lapis lazuli is all imorted from Chile, obsidian may well be too. All shells are imported, mostly from Tahiti. Please don't buy anything with coral - the damage caused to coral reefs in gathering it can be irreparable. It is illegal to remove any antiquities (spear heads, fish hooks, stone tools, etc) from the island, nor should you "souvenir" pieces of stone from any of the island sites, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem.
What to pay: Items bought from wayside stalls and the Feria are likely to be cheaper than anythng you find at the museum or the Mercardo Artisanal. Some bargaining is possible.
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